Saudi Arabian blogger, Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered by the court to be lashed 1,000 times a few months ago may reportedly face the prospect of death penalty due to the incriminating evidence of apostasy against him, according to The Independent. Apostasy in Saudi Arabia carries the death penalty.
His liberal blog was used to articulate many social and political issues that have touched on the raw nerves of the extremely conservative kingdom.
The 1,000 lashes which was planned to be administered at a rate of 50 lashes per week, has been widely criticized by international communities. The wife of the jailed Saudi blogger, Ensaf Haidar is now calling on European governments to go beyond the public expressions of concern that have so far failed to secure his release, and deploy ministerial-level delegations to press directly for his freedom, according to a recent report by The Independent.
Speaking to The Independent in Brussels where she is lobbying for more action by the EU, she said their three young children ask her every day when their father is coming home, and she continues to remain hopeful that the family would be reunited.
“I’m not aware of any government talking officially to the Saudi Arabian authorities and officially requesting the release of Raif,” said Ms Haidar.
“I know some of them have been doing it via the embassies, but I don’t think the embassies are the right venue for this because they are not aware of the decisions being made back home.”
Pressure should be “at the ministerial level and at the governmental level” she added.